January 2024 Council and Chapter News

January 2024 Council and Chapter News

Recent news from The MOAA Newsletter. View previous editions of Council and Chapter News here. Send updates about your affiliate’s activities to chapters@moaa.org for possible inclusion in future editions.


Submissions Due for Levels of Excellence, Communications, Strobridge, and Surviving Spouse Liaison Awards

National MOAA is now accepting submissions for the Levels of Excellence, Col. Marvin J. Harris Communications Award, Colonel Steve Strobridge Legislative Chair/Liaison Award, and Surviving Spouse Liaison Excellence Award. The deadline for all awards is Feb. 16. The early submission is necessary for all awards to be adjudicated and available for presentation by mid-April. Find more details and access all four award portals.


2024 Council Stipends

We will again be offering two stipends to councils for 2024, upon request. First, the virtual meeting stipend is again a lump sum of $180. This stipend is also available to the virtual council. Second, the travel stipend of $1,300 for geographic councils is intended to offset the cost of any travel expenses necessary to visit member chapters, including lodging. The visits may be conducted by the council president or by any council officer they designate, and accounting is expected to be done at the local level. 


No claims need to be submitted to national, but we do ask you submit visit reports. Council presidents are asked to kindly signal your intent for both virtual meeting and travel stipend, or intent not to receive the stipends, to chapters@moaa.org as soon as possible.


Earn Advertising Revenue for Your Affiliate

Would you like to earn $100 for your chapter by including an advertisement in your newsletter for MOAA Insurance Plans? MOAA councils and chapters can enroll in the advertising program now through May 31. (Ads can be published later in the year.) Find additional details about the program and how to enroll at this link.


Don’t Miss the Deadline to Apply for a 2024 Community Outreach Grant

Each year, The MOAA Foundation awards grants to active MOAA councils and chapters providing services to local military and veteran families — either directly or through partnerships with other community organizations — in one of 10 areas of critical military and veteran family need: housing, food assistance, employment, health (including behavioral health), family support, community reintegration, financial assistance, legal assistance, transportation, and crisis relief.


To date, the Community Outreach Grant program has awarded nearly 200 grants totaling more than $550,000 through its seven annual cycles. To learn more about The MOAA Foundation and its programs, including how you can donate, visit charities.moaa.org.


This year’s grant application closes Feb. 28. Councils and chapters interested in applying can find grant criteria, reporting requirements, and the application at MOAA.org/communitygrant.


Surviving Spouse Corner: Protect and Save Your Vital Information

Through this MOAA partner, you can digitally store all of your important documents, making it easy to share with trusted loved ones.


By Renée Brunelle Matthews, MOAA Surviving Spouse Advisory Council member


When is it ever the right time to get your important documents and information in order? Most of us think about it after someone we care for has had an incident and/or has passed away. Additionally, events such as hurricanes, fires, floods, tornadoes, and even burglary can make the actual paperwork unusable.


But through MOAA partner Everplans, members have access to a platform allowing cloud-based storage of important documents and information. With controlled access to each area, we are able to share details — at a minimum, to begin the discussion about what we prefer for our health care and our final arrangements. 


[LEARN MORE: MOAA.org/Everplans | Effective Estate Planning Webinar (Jan. 10)]


Personally, I signed up for Everplans Premium, which offers nine categories of information: 

  • Personal Info and IDs: This is where copies of identification — including driver’s license, Social Security card, passport, and military IDs — can go. It also offers a space for vital documents, such as a marriage license.

  • Digital: This is quite an extensive category. It includes password management, devices, travel and transportation, ticketing, email, social media, and shopping, to name a few. Here, you can also add your username or password to any of your accounts, and note whether the account has a fee and is on auto pay. 

  • Home and Property: You can add information about your primary and secondary residences, RV, boat, etc.

  • Financial: This is another extensive area for accountant information, banking accounts, investments, loans, tax returns, and insurance information for both life and disability. This would the best place for VA benefits, as well.

  • Legal: Here, you will find spaces to enter attorney contact information. You can scan and upload your will, power of attorney, health care surrogate, and other advance directives. When away from home, this could be one of the most useful features to be able to easily access the digital version of these documents.

  • Health: Enter information about your primary and specialty doctors, allergies, vaccination records, medication list, medical devices, even a listing of medical conditions.

  • Family and Loved Ones: You are able to list the contact information for important people in your life, and especially important pet information. (For example, I have a credit card on file at my veterinarian’s office in case I am out of town and there is an emergency, so this is a great place to make note of something like that as well as include other vital information.)

  • Aging: One of the wonderful subcategories is “eldercare living preferences” where you can specify whether you are OK in a shared (roommate) space, your care providers, your eldercare finances, and your long-term care insurance details.

  • After I’m Gone: You can write a letter to a loved one, state your preferences for final arrangements (cremation versus burial, for example), provide notes for your obituary, and save family recipes, family photos, and more. There is even a tab to discuss the genealogy of your family.


[RELATED: More Exclusive MOAA Member Discounts]


It is never too late to start sharing important information with trusted loved ones. All MOAA members can save on Everplans Premium, with discounts based on membership level and beginning at 30% off the annual fee for Basic members. Visit MOAA.org/Everplans to find out more. 


Read past Surviving Spouse Corners.


Did You Know?

National Council and Chapter Visit Program: National MOAA provides senior leader visits to councils and chapters to address member meetings and engage with volunteer leaders to understand and address specific challenges, concerns, and requirements. Councils are eligible for visits annually, and chapters are eligible for a visit every two years. To request a visit, please complete this form. Email chapters@moaa.org with any questions or concerns. We look forward to visiting you soon! 


Installation of New Officers: National MOAA provides helpful information to assist councils and chapters with their officer installation ceremonies. Find details here.


Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT): The EFT account is used by national MOAA to disperse monetary incentives earned by the chapter under the chapter recruiting program directly into the chapter’s checking or savings account. To speed up the distribution of incentive money earned through the Chapter Recruiting campaign, national MOAA requests maximum participation by council and chapters in the EFT program. Learn more.


Upcoming Events

Monthly Chapter Leader Virtual Roundtable: Join us Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. Eastern for a discussion on  compliance and legal topics. Join here at the time of the meeting (ID: 268 423 696 773; Passcode: G98yW3).


Find a complete list of Council and Chapter Affairs events online.


From the Field

MOAA chapters give back to their communities through fundraising efforts, community- service projects, scholarship programs, and other initiatives. Here are some recent activities. 


The Olympia Area (Wash.) Chapter continued its longtime tradition of helping to make the holiday season brighter for local children in need by supporting Santa’s Castle at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. In addition to providing a monetary donation, the chapter also collected 1,000 sports balls through the support of community members and organizations like Olympia Elks and Military Order of the World Wars, as well as other MOAA chapters throughout the state. Read more about the effort.


The Whidbey Island (Wash.) Chapter recently donated three guitars to Guitars for Vets, an organization that uses music to help veterans with PTSD. Two of the guitars will be used as practice instruments for new students, and one was presented to a recent graduate of the program. The chapter’s support was made possible by a Community Outreach Grant from The MOAA Foundation. Read more about the chapter’s donation.


The General Omar N. Bradley Mid-Missouri Chapter donated $1,101 to the Food Bank For Central and Northeast Missouri to support the food bank’s VIP Veterans Pack Program. The effort was part of the chapter’s Adopt-a-Program initiative, which began in 2014. Chapter members generously donate funds during quarterly socials that are then given to a charitable organization. To date, the chapter has collected and donated over $20,000 to 16 organizations, including Toys For Tots, Wreaths Across America, Welcome Home (an organization for homeless veterans), Fisher House, Salvation Army, and Ronald McDonald House.


National MOAA Travel Schedule

Here are the councils and chapters MOAA leaders will be visiting over the next few months.


Contact the associated chapter if you would like to attend any of the following scheduled visits:

  • Jan. 9. Alabama Council of Chapters, Montgomery, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), Council and Chapter Affairs (CCA)
  • Jan. 11, Alamo (Texas) Chapter and Blue Skies Satellite, San Antonio, Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, USAF (Ret), MOAA president and CEO
  • Jan. 25, Star Fort (S.C.) Chapter, Greenwood, Col. Theodore J. Janosko USA (Ret), MOAA board of directors (BoD)
  • Jan. 25-27, Florida Council of Chapters Leadership Training Symposium, Orlando, Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, USAF (Ret), MOAA president and CEO, and MOAA staff.
  • Feb. 3, Texas Council of Chapters, virtual, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Feb. 3, Gen. William Smallwood (Md.) Chapter, Waldorf, Capt. Jim Carman, USN (Ret), Council/Chapter and Member Support
  • Feb. 8, Gen. William O. Darby Rangers (Ark.) Chapter, Fort Smith, Col. Theodore J. Janosko, USA (Ret), BoD
  • Feb. 10 Greater Dallas and North Texas Chapter, Dallas, speaker TBD
  • Feb. 12, Silver Strand (Calif.) Chapter, Coronado, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Feb. 15, Acadiana (La.) Chapter, Youngsville, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Feb. 20, Louisville (Ky.) Chapter, Louisville, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Feb. 22, Greater Shoals (Ala.) Chapter, Florence, Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), CCA
  • Feb. 22, Memphis (Tenn.) Chapter, Germantown, Karen Ruedisueli, Government Relations


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Donate to the MOAA Scholarship Fund and The MOAA Foundation at the link below.

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